East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson has welcomed the decision by HBO to have a number of legacy centres across Northern Ireland facilitating the huge international interest there is in the Game of Thrones series.
In a statement, he said: “I am particularly pleased that Magheramorne will be one of those sites and have been working with the new owner of the site to try and make this a reality.
“I had first suggested three years ago that given the importance of the Magheramorne site, that the sets should be left in place and the very obvious tourist interest exploited.
“Every day, one witnesses numerous busloads of tourists who stop at the gates of the site to get a peek at the few film sets which are barely visible. It would be a massive boost to the tourist industry and to the Causeway Coast tourist potential if this site were opened.
“In the contact I have had with HBO, the Tourist Board, the council and the developer, I am convinced that this vision is close to becoming a reality.
“Ten years ago when I was the Environment Minster, I had signed off the masterplan for the Magheramorne site, which is actually bigger than the Titanic Quarter in Belfast.
“I am now hopeful that some of the exciting plans that were envisaged then are going to come to fruition, though I accept there are still planning, financial, and legal issues which still have to be addressed and trust that public bodies, the private company that now owns the site and the owners of the intellectual property rights for the Game of Thrones will work together to address these issues quickly.
“The towns of Larne and Carrickfergus, hotels, bed and breakfasts and the vast array of businesses can only but gain from the tourist potential which this development presents.”